Survey Says Social Media is the New Black: Public Relations Vice to Habit

Orange is the New Black is cancelled! False.

orange is the new black cancelled rumor

You probably heard that news hoax first on social media and then went on to confirm that it was not true via an official news channel.

But you know what is true? Social media is the new black for getting news out and is now the leading go-to source to follow news, report news and connect directly with audiences.

When the false news broke about the possibility of Orange is the New Black being cancelled, Kate Mulgrew, who stars in the Netflix series posted on Facebook, “#OITNB HAS NOT been cancelled. It’s renewed for a 3rd season which is currently in production. The website reporting the story is a hoax.”

Mulgrew Tweet

Not only was Mulgrew’s inbox growing, we’re pretty sure fanatics were rushing to the Netflix website as well as other entertainment sources to disprove the rumor. This is consistent with TEKGROUP’s recent findings about how people follow news.

TEKGROUP surveyed a group of social media users in an effort to find out how they are following, sharing, posting and monitoring news on various social media outlets. The finding:  90% of those surveyed say they use Twitter, Facebook, and blogs on a daily basis to follow and monitor news and information.

Good news for brands trying to connect with audiences: Consumers are following brands and organizations like never before, giving them one-click access to news stories and social channels. Netflix original series Orange is the New Black connects with fans through social media with Twitter Chats, Facebook Q+A, and Instagram.
Twitter Q&A

In a matter of five years the public relations industry has morphed into a beautiful social media butterfly of news distribution opportunities. Final survey results show the incredible growth of social media as a dominant news channel with hundreds of millions of people discovering, sharing, reading, and posting news online.


Highlights from the social media survey include:

Q. How often do you make use of branded corporate websites when following, sharing or posting news and information?

Websites are making a comeback, or are they?  The social, visual and mobile ones are!

Visual Websites

Not just for sexy TV shows.
The branded corporate website seems to be increasing in importance as social users turn to corporate news and information through their social media behavior patterns. In the survey 44% of respondents look to the corporate website either very often, or all the time. Only 5% indicated they never use the corporate web site.

This finding should be of particular importance for public relations pros arguing for more prominent links off the branded corporate home page to the online newsroom where much of the critical information news consumers seek is archived.

Q. How often do you make use of press releases when following, sharing or posting news and information?

Death or rebirth of the press release? We now have the social media press release. If you listen to the industry tabloids; the venerable press release is dying.  But not according to the TEKGROUP survey respondents. A staggering 74% of survey respondents indicated at least some use of releases in their social media behavioral patterns, with 35% indicating they use press releases frequently, if not all the time. Only 7% indicated they never use press releases at all.

Sharing news via social media messages, such as pinned tweets that can highlight a brand’s latest news at the top of the timeline, is today’s version of a social press release. OITNB Fan account on Twitter used this feature to highlight the Season 2 news to Twitter followers using visuals with the Twitter post.

Pinned Tweet

Meanwhile the OITNB official  and verified Twitter account touts a Klout score of 81, uses the hashtag in its profile image and cross promotes and posts images and quotes from the latest episodes.



Q. How often do you visit a corporate web site after learning of a news story through social media tools?

Rumors spread like wildfire on social media, so confirming news via an official website is a definite trend in behavior patterns. It is clear that social news consumers do utilize various channels to confirm reports gathered through social media channels with 71% of respondents indicating that they visit a traditional media site after hearing a  news story through social channels.

But perhaps of more interest to the survey reader is the reported 83% of respondents who indicated they at least sometimes visit a corporate website under the same circumstances, 31% saying they do this frequently.


Websites + Social Media Channels = #Success

OITNB InstagramThe official fan website  Orange is the New Black website is both visual and social. But the show also makes smart use of reporting news and connecting with fans via the hashtag #OITNB across official social media channels Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Tumblr. But the news sharing does not stop with the brand! The show’s cast contribute to the news reporting and sharing via their own personal channels. The show’s leading prison mate lover @LauraPrepon also serves as a social news source to her 516K followers.

Linking Social  to Social

Rather than driving all visits from social media back to the website, some brands are cross-promoting social as in the example below. #OITNB sends its 555K Instagram followers to its Facebook Page, as shown above.

In social media every sentence is a news story, and you don’t have to be an award-winning TV series to share your story.  How much time do you spend using social media to share and follow news?

Image Credit:

Social Media Is the new black